Thursday, September 14, 2017

Blogger Review: Hell-Knights by Hayden Thorne

Summary:
Decima is a centuries-old Italian city on the water, a vanity project meant to be a fairy tale escape for the titled and the privileged. But something in the distant past had turned it into a murky, putrid dreamscape instead, a crumbling city haunted by a scourge of revenants whose origins and purpose now seem destined to be hidden in the shadows forever. Not even the brave, dogged attempts at fighting midnight creatures by the descendants of a select bloodline can rid the city of the near-daily threat.

Michele De Santis is a young minor sorcerer, a reluctant champion who, along with his twin sister and his cousin, has lost too much through the years and has resigned himself to a life of endless midnight hunts while selling healing and protection spells and artifacts during the day. A life of loneliness, of a forced solitude in a desperate bid at keeping collateral damage at a minimum appears to be his only future.

When long-dead corpses suddenly turn without vampire bites, logical patterns no longer hold true, leaving the weary hunters baffled and unsure for the first time. Decima's bronze guardians fall silent for no reason, a dark, binding spell muting their warnings. A long-abandoned church shows signs of life in the most grotesque ways imaginable. And everything seems to point to an unknown threat, one that's long lain dormant but has been awakened by the arrival of a young English heir and his amateur antiquarian uncle.

Romance and the gothic layer 'Hell-Knights' with the dark, rich textures of an alternate universe Europe, a nineteenth century world where magic reigns supreme, and love knows no gender.


Decima has not seen prosperity in quite some time but now there's an increase in vampire activity, but not just the normal vampires, these are turning without bites and not just the recently deceased but the long dead too.  Michele De Santis is one of the current sorcerers tasked with keeping the peace and safety of the citizens of the dying community.  Gabriel Latham has come with his scholar uncle to catalog intriguing history of the area.  When these two meet nothing will ever quite be the same, but will it be better?

Hell-Knights is an alternate universe historical paranormal romance, now I know what some might be asking: isn't paranormal already alternate universe?  Well, yes, perhaps but what justifies both labels is the historical part, more precisely the acceptance of LGBT relationships and the knowledge of otherworldly happenings as part of the norm.  Personally, none of that is really important when you have a story that is so well scripted from minor scene setting to huge angsty life-changing disasters by an author that obviously respects her readers and the power of words to pay attention to those details.

This tale is set in the same gothic universe as the author's Guardian Angel and The Flowers of St. Aloysius, now for me Hell-Knights didn't quite grab me with the same intensity as the others but that is not to say its not brilliant, because it is.  Michele and Gabriel are a perfect match even if they don't immediately jump at the chances at that "something special" in front of them.  Even though Hell may not have spoken to me the way the other entries to the author's AU I still felt as if I was there, everything is presented so intricately I felt as if I opened my front door, turned on my porch light I would be looking at the streets of Decima.

Such a wonderful blend of mystery, romance, paranormal, historical, and it's all wrapped up in a glorious gothic bow.  I can't wait to see what else Hayden Thorne comes up with for this AU.

RATING: 





Author Bio:
I’ve lived most of my life in the San Francisco Bay Area though I wasn’t born there (or, indeed, the USA). I’m married with no kids and three cats and am a cycling nut.

I started off as a writer of young adult fiction, specializing in contemporary fantasy, historical fantasy, and historical genres. My books ranged from a superhero fantasy series to reworked and original folktales to Victorian ghost fiction. I've since expanded to New Adult fiction, which reflects similar themes as my YA books and varies considerably in terms of romantic and sexual content.

While I've published with a small press in the past, I now self-publish my books.


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Promo Tour: James: A Bad Boy Billionaire Romance by Shayne Ford

Titles: James, Dark James, & Taming James
Author: Shayne Ford
Series: Night of the Kings #1-3
Genre: New Adult Erotic Romance
Release Dates: James - March 27, 2017
Dark James - April 29, 2017
Taming James - May 4, 2017
Summary:
LUST. POWER. BAD BOYS. LOVE. BETRAYAL.

This is a story about love, taming hearts, growing up and changing. It is about a good girl corrupting a bad boy, who turns her into a bad girl. And then, it’s about a bad girl, who brings the bad boy to his knees.

Rain meets James for the first time, fresh out of high school. Fascinated by him, she wants him to be her first man, someone she can never forget. At twenty-five, James is a ruthless, powerful, wealthy man, who’s never had feelings for a woman and wants to keep things that way.

He has two handsome best friends who are also his business partners.

This is NOT a conventional, linear romance. Expect a bit of a mess, dirty bits, other people, cliffhangers and twists of situations.


James #1
Chapter One
Rain
Nobody knows where they come from.

Some people say they travel from the other side of the hills, where the wealthiest estates of the county share the beautiful scenery of Aspen and the well-guarded privacy of big money, but they could drive from farther away.

They come with the first whispers of the fall when the days are still warm, and the light looks like golden honey pouring slowly in a jar of glass. When the nights grow cold, and the leaves flutter in the wind under the vault of the cerulean sky. When homes like mine and Eve’s smell like cinnamon and apple pies, and smoke drifts from the piles of leaves burning outside.

They drive through town like ghosts while we spend our evenings tucked under the blankets, sipping tea and eating cookies, spinning stories like this.

But some people swear they see them all year round. Mostly at night, and almost never during the day, and that’s why it’s so hard to believe.

As they sweep through town, the whispers become murmurs before they turn into gossip, the stories, old and new, resurfacing, revived, spurring restlessness amongst the youngsters and skepticism amongst the older.

Men brush the idea off, huffing and puffing and grumping, turning a deaf ear to the women’s ramblings.

People spot their cars or bikes, but not that many get the chance to see them. Certainly not us, who are barely out of high school.

Women are the ones who spread the rumors, but their stories should be taken with a grain of salt.

Regardless, the tales and mysteries abound.

Eve and I love the legend.

Unlike her, I’m not willing to admit.

Some say they head west–– right outside of town, where an old estate sprawls on a big piece of land, guarded by the majestic forest in the background.

That’s where the road comes to an end, and the Dark House rises on the shore of a large, shimmering lake, the mansion shrouded in a lot of mystery just like them.

Surrounded by old trees, alleys with wrought iron benches, flowering shrubs and a brick wall covered with wild roses, the property–– if we are to believe the story, belongs to them.

Footpaths crisscross the land, an old tale saying there’s an abandoned tunnel hidden in the thick woods stretching behind the house.

Other people have spotted them downtown at Red’s–– the building with charcoal gray walls, red painted stairs, and black tinted windows. The playground of the most powerful and wealthiest men in town, perhaps the county. The favorite place for wheeling and dealing and indulging in guilty pleasures away from their spouses’ eyes.

Throughout the years the space we grew up in has become a portal between old and new, truth and secret, pure and sin, stories like this making the town feel so alive.

“Wait for me,” Eve shouts as I dart away from her, the wind blowing in my hair, the sun kissing my cheeks.

“I’ll meet you down there,” I say, pointing at the bottom of the slope.

Dark James #2
Chapter One
Rain
One week till Christmas~New York

There’s no stronger force than love. It makes you crawl and cry and curse. It tortures you and poisons you before it shows you bliss to hook you even more, and then it makes you bleed. It brings the toughest man to his knees and turns a woman’s heart into a pile of ashes.

“She doesn’t pay you to read… you know,” a terse voice rings out behind me, scratching my ears.

I stifle a retort.

She who pays me is not the owner of the store, and she who speaks is not my boss, but that’s useless to convey as well.

Clinging to my last ounce of dignity, I slowly fold the piece of paper, place it in my pocket and start stacking books on the shelf.

The more I sense her stare on my back, the more nervous I become. Suddenly, my lips are dry, and my hands turn sweaty as my dress begins to itch.

Pacing myself, I run trembling fingers over my skirt. I wish she’d go away. No fucking chance.

I have no other choice but turn around and face her.

Angel, my co-worker, a petite woman in her mid-twenties, who looks more mature than her age, straightens her back and creases her lips into a disdainful smile.

Her orange sweater makes the pearls around her neck look yellow and her skin translucent. A tangerine ribbon holds her curly hair in place as her beaded eyes follow me intently from behind thick-rimmed glasses.

How many times have we been through this?

She harassing me while I pretend I’m an idiot.

“I thought you’re leaving,” I say dryly.

“I am,” she says, throwing me a disgusted look, her fingers flipping a freshly sharpened pencil.

My eyes drop to the wedding band gracing her ring finger.

Who can love a woman like this?

Pure hatred runs in her blood.

“I just want to remind you that until you close the store, you have to make sure the customers' calls don’t end up in the voicemail. She doesn’t like that,” Angel says, acting as a surrogate for Candy, our new boss.

I clench my teeth to push back another retort.

I’d gladly give her a piece of my mind, but more than anything else I need this job and the meager paycheck that helps me to survive or rather doesn’t let me die.

“Okay,” I say, looking at her blankly.

For the life of me, I can’t figure out what possesses her to pick on me, day in and day out?

It was like that from the very beginning.

Before I even had the chance to open my mouth and introduce myself or say a thing or two about my life, her mind was already made up.

She’s not much older than me, and she’s not my boss, but somehow she thinks she is. She started working a couple of weeks before me, and yet she behaves as if she owns the store.

Taming James #3
Rain
The ocean breeze sweeps my feet.

Soft as a feather, the wind rolls onto my legs and my back before it trails my backside. It takes me only a mere second to realize I’m naked.

Caught between sleep and awareness, I stretch my arm and tap the mattress behind me, looking for the sheet.

I slide it over my body and let myself fall back to sleep, hoping to steal another hour. The seagulls have a different plan and start a riot on the beach.

I give up on the idea and just lie on the bed with my eyes closed, and my nostrils filled with the ocean scent.

A smell of coffee drifts from nearby. More awareness settles in, a nagging thought coming along with it.

He didn’t sleep in bed with me.

In fact, he hasn’t touched me since that night.

None of them have.

That must be him, and his instructions.

There’s no other explanation. The Night of the Kings, and my brief encounter with Lex wouldn’t have happened either, had he not given them the green light.

Another thought surfaces in my head.

Today is our last day on the island.

My stomach shrinks and my chest tightens with tension. Forget about sleeping. I crack my eyes open.

The wide stretch of glimmering blue water and the silver sand come into view. It’s a windy morning with the sky mostly clear, only a few fluffy clouds chased away by the wind here and there.

I could live and write in a place like this. I wouldn’t need a big house. Nothing like this for sure. A room or two will do. As long as I’d have the beach, the ocean and the crying seagulls my life would be like a dream.

I can envision myself sitting in a wicker chair, sipping margaritas, and plotting away. Knitting stories.

Hmm. That’s a nice thought. I smile for a few moments before I I shake off the fantasy and look around.
The house is eerily quiet. I crawl across the bed, snatch my phone from the nightstand and flip it over.

It’s almost ten.

Propped on my elbows, I scan the beach, looking for them. The shore is empty.

I slide off the bed, wrap the sheet around my body, take a few stairs down and glance around. The water ripples in the pool while the palmetto leaves sway in the wind.

I take a few more steps, the warm sand brushing my feet. Shielding my eyes from the sun, I look up and down the beach.

There’s no sign of them.

Intrigued, I spin around and make the trip back, entering the house.

Chamber after chamber, I get the same feeling. There’s no one else in here but me. In perfect order, the rooms bear no signs of them. The bedroom doors are wide open, the beds untouched as if no one slept in them last night.

I check the closets. They’re empty as well. I dash back to my bedroom, toss the sheet on the bed, pick up my underwear, a pair of shorts and a T-shirt, and get dressed in a hurry.

Summary:
SECRETS. LIES. DECEIT. A GAME OF LUST AND BURNING PASSION.

Dahlia is a girl who just started building her own path in life. Lex is the man who has it all, except for one thing.

His heart is full of secrets, and his blood is filled with lust, yet no one can tame his fire.

Fate brings them together in more ways than one. He has a taste for mysteries. She has a heart made for love.

Falling for him is the hardest thing she’s ever done.

Satisfying her is the most pleasurable thing he’s ever done.

Will this be the everlasting love?

This is NOT a conventional, linear romance. Expect a bit of a mess, dirty bits, cliffhangers and twists of situations.

This is a New Adult Erotic Romance. 18+ Only.

PLEASE NOTE: Although a standalone, Lex’s story includes spoilers of James’ story since it unfolds in the same world at a later date. If you wish to know the backstory of the Kings, reading James’ story (book 1-3) is highly recommended.


Author Bio:
Shayne Ford writes NEW ADULT, Erotic Romance, the love stories involving hot-blooded men and adventurous, soulful women. The male cast includes Rock Stars, Billionaires, Bad Boys, Alphas with a heart, and the sweet, strong man you may find next door. The stories are emotional and deliciously hot. Sometimes they're unconventional, and sometimes they're a bit dark. Her Series are epic, layered, character-driven, and have a lot of depth. They are not the typical romance, nor are they formulaic or follow a mold.

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James #1
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Dark James #2
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Taming James #3
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Lex #4

Hard Lex #5

Loving Lex #6(Coming September 12, 2017)




Brought to you by:

Release Blitz: Tate by Ella Frank

Title: Tate
Author: Ella Frank
Series: Temptation #5
Genre: M/M Romance
Release Date: September 12, 2017
Cover Model: Clément Becq
Photographer: Fred Goudon photographe
Cover Designer: Shanoff Formats
Summary:
William Tate Morrison – The man who came into my life and turned my entire world—and me—on its ass.

Logan Mitchell has always been a man with a plan.

One for work. One for his relationship. And one for his life. Which is exactly the way he liked it—until recently.

Now with words like marriage and weddings floating around his head, Logan’s plans have suddenly changed course, and where they want him to go has him feeling somewhat distracted.

Tate Morrison knows Logan better than anybody else—or so he thinks. So when his lawyer is finding it hard to sleep at night, he chalks it up to the craziness that has recently descended on their lives.

Never in a million years would he guess what’s really on Logan’s mind.

Tate is the fifth book in the Temptation Series, and the next chapter in the lives of the two men we have all come to know and love.


When Logan came to a stop in the doorway, he spotted Tate seated cross-legged on the floor in amongst piles of books, DVDs, and paperwork in various files and binders. There was stuff everywhere, and when Tate looked over his shoulder at Logan, he couldn’t stop himself from smiling at the picture he made.

Tate was wearing grey sweats and a faded green t-shirt with some band he’d seen years ago printed on it. But that wasn’t what had Logan crossing to him, wanting a kiss. No, that’d be all those damn curls. They were sticking out all over the place and framing his face as Tate aimed that charming grin of his up at Logan.

Logan bent down and pressed a kiss to those curved lips, and Tate hummed and gladly returned it. “Looks like you’ve made some progress,” Logan said.
Tate looked around and nodded. “Yeah, a bit. God, that smells amazing.”

“Here.” Logan handed him the box. “No point in moving. I’ll grab some paper towels and drinks. What do you want?”

Tate put the pizza box down in front of him. “A water.”

Logan shook his head and then headed out to the kitchen, calling over his shoulder, “I’ll never understand how you drink water with your pizza. That’s just wrong.”

“I’ve always had water with it. Habit, I guess. Oh, hey? Are you still okay with going to Jill’s this weekend?”

Logan grabbed the paper towels, a Coke and water from the fridge, and then walked back into the study, tossing the bottled water. “Yeah, of course. I assume you decided it would be a good idea?”

“I don’t know that I’d go that far. But I want to see my nephews, and I’d really like you to meet them and my friends.”

Logan tried to keep his face neutral as Tate’s words went straight to his heart. But damn, not only was he proud of Tate, he felt incredibly loved by him in that moment. “Then we should go.”

Tate flipped open the pizza box and scooted over to make room for him, and as Logan took up the vacated spot, he let his eyes wander around the disaster zone and cleared his throat. “This room is a mess.”

Tate tore off a paper towel and then picked up a slice of the deep-dish pepperoni they’d decided on. “I’m thinking it’ll probably take us the longest. Who knew we had so much junk in here?”

Logan reached for a DVD set sitting on the top of the pile and screwed his nose up. “He-Man and the Masters of the Universe? Really? I think we need a trash pile. Have you started one of those?”

“Hey,” Tate said around a bite of his pizza. “Don’t even think about it. I grew up watching that.”

“The important part of that sentence is you grew up.” Logan flipped the DVD over in his hand, read the back of the box, and then raised a questioning eyebrow.

“This might actually explain a few things about you.”

“Really?” Tate rolled his eyes. “Then it must also explain a few things about the majority of young boys in the eighties. That was a popular show. You aren’t throwing it out; it’s nostalgic. Plus, you never know, if you sat down and watched an episode with me, you just might like it.”

“Highly doubtful.” Logan put the box down and reached for a slice of pizza.

“Okay. Okay. I know you were more into books than TV,” Tate said, as his eyes went to the mountains of literature stacked in piles against the far wall. “What was something you read as a boy? Is it in one of those piles?”

Logan swallowed his mouthful of food and looked over at the books while Tate kept on talking.

“I mean, there are some pretty old-looking ones mixed in there with the autobiographies, textbooks, and National Geographics.”

Logan looked back to Tate and narrowed his eyes. “Pretty old ones? What am I, sixty?”

Tate unscrewed his water and took a long gulp, draining half of it, then put the lid back on and set it down. “Nope. About to turn thirty-eight, last time I checked.”
“How about you stop checking?”



Author Bio:
Ella Frank is the author of the #1 Bestselling Temptation series, including Try, Take, and Trust and is the co-author of the fan-favorite erotic serial, A Desperate Man. Her Exquisite series has been praised as “scorching hot!” and “enticingly sexy!”

A life-long fan of the romance genre, Ella writes contemporary and erotic fiction and lives with her husband in Portland, OR. You can reach her on the web and on Facebook.

Some of her favorite authors include Tiffany Reisz, Kresley Cole, Riley Hart, J.R. Ward, Erika Wilde, Gena Showalter, and Carly Philips.


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Tate #5

Series
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